NeetCode and Grokking represent two entirely different ways of preparing for coding interviews.
And by the end of this review, you will know which one takes the better path, at least for you.
I will start with an overview of both platforms, followed by how they differ in the following categories:
- Interview Questions
- Coding Interface for Practice
- Programming languages support
- Pros and Cons
And then we’ll wrap up with the ultimate verdict.
Let’s get the ball rolling.
NeetCode vs. Grokking – Overview
NeetCode and Grokking are popular coding prep courses that aim to help you improve your coding skills and ace technical interviews.
But both platforms have different ideas of what it takes to prepare well.
NeetCode provides detailed video explanations of relevant coding concepts in the following areas:
- Algorithms and Data Structure for Beginners
- Advanced Algorithms
- System Design for Beginners
- System Design Interview
- Object-oriented Design Interview
NeetCode also provides video solutions to about 331 LeetCode questions. In fact, NeetCode’s creator intends the platform to be the solution-focused alternative to LeetCode.
Grokking, on the hand, has no video tutorials but goes the way of text-based learning.
Grokking’s methodology is to provide users with clear insights into the patterns behind most coding interview questions.
To that end, the platform isolates the patterns behind over 200 coding questions.
Grokking’s training system is also intended for people with little time left to prepare. According to the team, videos waste time since they go at 150 words per minute instead of 250 words per minute when reading. You get the point.
Speaking of courses, Grokking the Coding Interview focuses on coding topics, while, as we have seen, NeetCode has a more extensive curriculum.
As a side note, NeetCode’s creator is a software engineer at Google, while Grokking the Coding Interview is created by DesignGurus.io but is also offered on Educative.io.
NeetCode vs. Grokking – Differences
NeetCode and Grokking are great resources for improving your coding skills and preparing for technical interviews. Still, some differences between the two platforms are worth considering.
Among them are:
Both NeetCode and Grokking have hundreds of questions. The difference is that most of Newton’s questions are adapted from LeetCode.
Grokking’s questions are not necessarily LeetCode-based. They are up to 200 and mapped to about 21 patterns.
Grokking’s questions cover various aspects of data structures and algorithms. NeetCode’s questions cover systems design and object-oriented design as well.
Coding Interface for Practice
Interactive code editors are a must for any who needs to practice programming questions, as that’s what is used to write code, debug, and get feedback.
NeetCode integrates with Leetcode code editor, a massive improvement given that the course platform didn’t always have one.
Grokking also has a code editor, which is inbuilt into the platform.
Overall, there aren’t many differences here. You can’t go wrong with any of the code editors.
With either of them, you can interactively design and build systems, visualize components, and simulate real-world scenarios, thus enjoying a hands-on learning experience.
In terms of programming languages, NeetCode and Grokking offer a wide range of options for their users.
NeetCode has the upper hand in the number of programming languages it supports; it has up to 13.
Community is an essential aspect of any coding prep course, as it provides opportunities to learn from other coders and get support as you work through coding challenges.
NeetCode and Grokking have active communities, but there are some notable differences between the two.
For instance, NeetCode’s community is known for being friendly and supportive, with a dedicated Discord channel where members can connect, ask questions, and share resources.
In addition, NeetCode offers a mentorship program where users can connect with experienced developers for personalized guidance and support.
Grokking’s community is also active, with a forum where users can ask questions and get help from other members. However, some users have noted that the community can be less welcoming and helpful than NeetCode.
And I concur with that. Note that Grokking would have many more community members than NeetCode by virtue of being older than the latter. It is much easier for your input to get lost among the crowd.
NeetCode.io vs. Grokking—Pricing
Regarding their subscription package, NeetCode and Grokking offer free and paid versions of their platforms, with the paid versions providing access to more resources and features.
NeetCode has a forever free version and a premium package that offers two pricing options.
The first option is to pay $99 monthly, while the second option allows you to pay $129 once for lifetime access.
On the other hand, the Grokking Coding Interview course is provided by Educative.io, a platform that offers a wide range of courses to its users.
By signing up for the Grokking Coding Interview course, you can access a comprehensive collection of resources designed to help you excel in coding interviews.
You can purchase the Grokking course as a standalone offer from Educative.io for $35 monthly. Alternatively, you can opt for the annual plans, which cost $119, $179, and $209 for the standard, premium, and premium plus plans.
Either way, you are paying a lot of money for both platforms. But NeetCode is a better option here.
NeetCode offers a lot of content for free. Here’s a case in point: Before NeetCode released his pro version, his YouTube channel already had hundreds of video solutions to coding problems—a perk you will be hard-pressed to get for free elsewhere.
Besides, NeetCode’s free version contains all the practice questions and their solutions, allowing you access to the community.
Pros and Cons
These two online coding platforms are excellent resources for improving your coding skills and preparing for technical interviews, but they each have pros and cons.
Let me explain.
Regarding NeetCode, several notable pros make it a compelling choice for coding and technical interview preparation. Here are some of the advantages of using NeetCode:
Lots of Free Content
In a contest of the more generous course platform, NeetCode wipes the floor with Grokking.
NeetCode offers almost all of its content for free. You are only paying for the video courses. All of its other resources are free.
Extensive Language Support:
Grokking supports a wide range of programming languages, including Java, Python, C++, and more, which makes it a versatile choice for coders.
One of the best free resources from NeetCode is the free community.
You don’t need to pay or subscribe to the premium plan before you can interact with others and share your insights.
Better still, you are not restricted to certain community features or, in other ways, treated like a second-class citizen because you joined free.
Engaging and Intuitive Platform
NeetCode boasts an engaging and intuitive platform design, making it easy for users to navigate and utilize the available features effectively. The user-friendly interface ensures a seamless learning experience, allowing learners to focus on their coding practice without unnecessary distractions.
Video/Text Hybrid Learning Format
NeetCode offers a more versatile learning experience than Grokking, which contains only text tutorials. Anyone who finds text-based learning inconvenient can make do with the video lessons and vice versa.
While Grokking restricts premium access to only one month or one year (based on your billing), NeetCode allows you to pay once and enjoy all of the platform’s content plus future updates forever.
While a year is enough to gain all the relevant coding interview skills, many will appreciate having a course they can always turn to for reminders without renewing their payment.
Regularly Updated Content
NeetCode continually updates its question bank and adds new coding challenges to keep up with the evolving landscape of coding interviews. This ensures that users have access to up-to-date and relevant content, preparing them for the latest industry standards and interview trends.
Interactive Coding interface
Grokking’s coding interface is interactive and user-friendly, with features like autocomplete and error checking to help users write code more efficiently.
Large Library of Questions
Grokking offers an extensive library of coding questions and problems, regularly adding new questions. This ensures that users can access fresh material to practice their coding skills.
Grokking provides detailed explanations for each coding question, which helps users understand the underlying concepts and techniques. The lessons cover almost all arms of coding as well.
There are also visual aids and other interactive features for better assimilation.
NeetCode Negative reviews (Complaints)
NeetCode is generally well-regarded in the coding community, but there are a few negative reviews and complaints that I spotted out.
Lack of Real-World Application
Some users have criticized NeetCode’s focus on interview questions, arguing that the skills learned may only sometimes apply to real-world coding tasks.
No Behavioral Interview Prep
Behavioral prep teaches you qualities such as teamwork, communication, leadership, et cetera—qualities that interviewers have sought.
Your technical skills can only take you so far because rather than working solo, you will work with other programmers to advance the company’s interest.
It’s worth noting, however, that these negative reviews are in the minority, and many users have found NeetCode’s resources valuable for improving their coding skills and preparing for technical interviews.
Grokking Negative reviews (Complaints)
Grokking the Coding Interview is excellent but has several rough patches worth mentioning.
One-Way Learning Format
If you need a prep platform that offers a flexible mode of presentation material, it’s not Grokking.
There needs to be video support which means you are forced to adjust to textual learning if that’s not your thing.
Inconsistent Coding Interface
Some Grokking users have said that the coding interface can be slow and unresponsive, which makes it hard to practice code skills.
Limited Scope of Training
Grokking the Coding Interview, as the name suggests, is only for coding. It doesn’t include systems design, object-oriented design, or anything else.
Unless you purchase something like NeetCode, which offers everything in one plan, you must pay for the rest of the domains separately. When you add the long-term costs, it becomes much more expensive than NeetCode.
Not For Beginners
The platform is only restricted to coders with experience and those who want to apply to FAANG companies.
In fact, in Grokking’s course overview, you will see the list of preliminary skills you should have acquired before starting.
NeetCode fares much better in this area as it is designed for all levels of experience and aspirations.
NeetCode vs. Grokking: Which Prep Course is Better?
Determining which coding prep course is “better” depends on your needs and preferences.
That said, while both NeetCode and Grokking have their fair share of pros and cons, the winner is the one that lowers the risk proposition by offering more for less.
NeetCode is the more robust choice for most users due to its lower cost, highly interactive coding interface, extensive community support, and positive user reviews.
Most importantly, NeetCode offers a generous amount of free resources to help users get started with their coding journey. A roadmap and tons of practice questions, along with their solutions for free, is not something to scoff at.
The fast-paced method of learning based on text and problem patterns is the only reason for recommending Grokking the Coding Interview. It might be all you need if time is not on your side.
Aside from that, I would pick NeetCode any time of the day.
Going by the nature of NeetCode and Grokking, it is clear that they have different target audiences.
NeetCode is for all beginners, while Grokking is for the more experienced and exclusively for FAANG aspirants.
But in the end, we all want to squeeze out every drop of value from our hard-earned cash, so it’s hard not to recommend NeetCode.